ABS BCM Standing Committee
OCBC CEO David Conner, MAS Deputy Managing Director Teo Swee Lian, and UOB Chairman Wee Cho Yaw at the ABS Annual General Meeting 2007.
MAS works closely with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS)
to maintain high regulatory standards while facilitating development
and innovation in the banking and financial services sector in Singapore.
While individual financial institutions have business continuity plans to
ensure critical operations continue to function during major disruptions,
the industry has also been collectively strengthening the business
continuity preparedness of the sector as a whole.
Established in 2004, the Association of Banks in Singapore Business
Continuity Management Standing Committee (Committee) provides a
forum for member banks to share information and co-ordinate efforts
on disaster recovery, business continuity and crisis management on
an industry-wide basis.
Working groups were set up under the Committee to look into specific
business continuity issues. For example, the working group on the
preparedness against risk of influenza pandemic conducted an industry
survey to ascertain the level of pandemic preparedness and issued
business continuity practice guidelines to mitigate the risk and impact
of an influenza pandemic. Another working group on the preparedness
against security threats is developing good practices to mitigate security
threats and planning for an industry-wide crisis communication exercise.
MAS is represented in the Committee and the working groups. Where
relevant, representatives from the capital markets and insurance sectors
would be co-opted into the working groups. The next Industry-wide
Business Continuity Exercise (IWE), with an influenza pandemic theme,
will be conducted in the later half of 2008.
In addition, the Committee conducts regular workshops and seminars
to share information and raise awareness of BCM matters, as well
as training courses to upgrade BCM-related skill sets within the
financial sector. A BCM Outreach Programme on Influenza Pandemic
and Security Response was jointly organised by ABS and MAS on 8
May 2007. Representatives from the Ministry of Health and the UK
Financial Services Authority (FSA) were invited to provide a medical
update on a possible influenza pandemic and share lessons learnt
from the UK Financial Sector Market Wide Influenza Pandemic Exercise,
respectively. Representatives from Singapore Police Force and Singapore
Civil Defence Force also spoke on the authorities' response plans
during a major crisis so as to facilitate the alignment of financial
institutions' plans with those of government agencies.